God of War probably doesnít need an introduction, being one of the more popular franchises on the Sonyís systems. For the few that donít know, God of War is a hack and slash adventure game about Kratos, the Ghost of Sparta, on his quest to kill Ares, the god of war. The game has been a commercial success, but has just as many haters as it does fans.
The graphics are alright for a PS2 game, and my only real complaint is that some animations become a bit repetitious. The animations are smooth, however, and the game looks a little rough sometimes, but definitely succeeds on bringing Greek mythology to life.
The game opens with Kratos throwing himself off of a cliff into the Aegean Sea. The games story is played out in a flashback leading up to that point. A former captain in the Spartan army, Kratos has set out to kill Ares, the god of war. The goddess Athena tells Kratos the past that consumes him will be forgiven if he destroys Ares, who is attacking Athens. Kratos, however, is already motivated by revenge. As it turns out, Kratos was a murderous servant of Ares, who gave him his signature weapons; the Blades of Chaos. Kratos renounced his service to Ares after he was tricked into murdering his own family by him.
GoW controls well, and combat flows smoothly. The X button is jump, and the circle button is used to grab smaller enemies, and to activate ending moves on others once they have been weakened. Square swings the Blades of chaos swiftly, and horizontally while triangle swings them slower, and harder vertically, dealing more damage. The left stick is used to move Kratos while the right stick is used to dodge. I kind of dislike the dodge mechanic, but you get used to it.
God of War, is as I mentioned before; a hack and slash adventure. You kill waves and waves of enemies as you progress, eventually coming to a boss, and occasionally having to solve a problem. This is where most of the gameís criticism comes from, as people tend to assume itís just a big kill fest Ė and it is - but itís a good one. Normally such repetition makes me grow weary of a game, but God of War just does it right and it doesnít wear thin so quickly. Most bosses have some sort of puzzle element to them, be it a specific dodge pattern, to some environmental that must be taken care of first, or that can be used to your advantage. Most of the puzzles are fairly easy once you figure them out, though and the meat of the game is combat. After beating on an enemy for a while, just when its about to die, you can grab it and perform a gruesome finishing move on it. Ever wanted to twist the head off of a naga? Here is your chance. Rip the wings off of a harpieís back? Go for it. The game is almost unnecessarily violent, but that is what God of War tries to be. The game does itís best to go over the top with itís gore, and while it doesnít effect the games overall gameplay, itís sort of like Mortal Kombat. If MK wasnít gory, it would still be a good game, but it just wouldnít feel like mortal Kombat anymore. The same goes for God of War. It doesnít HAVE to be gory, but if Iím not ripping somethingís head off, of tearing somethingís eyeball out of itís socket, it just doesnít feel like God of War.
The soundtrack is composed of dramatic orchestrated music that suits the game very well. It really gives the game an intense feel, As for voice acting, itís all done very well. Kratos sounds as gritty and angry as youíd expect, and each of the gods has a voice that almost perfectly matches them.
God of War may have itís haters, but itís still a great game, a fun stress reliever and it still has some of the best finishing moves Iíve ever seen. The game isnít perfect, but itís definitely great.